IDSA South Pre-Conference Design Sessions

May 1 2018 - 9:22am

These two pre-conference panel discussions, which will be FREE to attend, take place on the morning of Thursday, March 26 at NPE2015, in Orlando, FL. The panels will run consecutively between 9 am-12 pm, just prior to the IDSA South District Design Conference. For more information on these free sessions, contact Bob Grace at or 330.289.9488. You can also register separately for the IDSA South District Design Conference

Session 1: Bridging the Communication Gap: How to ‘Talk Designer’

This informal discussion will explore the challenges that industrial designers often have in communicating their goals and visions to non-designers, be they engineers, marketing officials or corporate executives. Drawing on the first-hand experiences of these diverse panelists, the focus will be on exploring the causes of this communication gap, with suggestions on how best to bridge it, or avoid it altogether. Improved communication will enhance the product development process, save costly rework and reduce time to market.

Sponsored by PolyOne Corp.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Augusto Picozza, IDSA, Director of Industrial Design, Jarden Consumer Solutions in Boca Raton, FL. (formerly with Sunbeam and Tupperware) 
  • Chris Bray, Director of IQ Design Labs at PolyOne Corp., in St. Louis
  • David Kusuma, FIDSA, Vice President of Product Development Worldwide, Tupperware Brands in Orlando (both a designer and engineer, formerly with Bayer Corp. and its Exatec joint venture with GE Plastics)
  • Marco Perry, IDSA, Founder & Principal, Pensa LLC, in New York (with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and a Master’s in design)
  • Kevin Shinn, IDSA, VP of Design, Altair ThinkLabs in Troy, MI (formerly with Dow Corning and Rubbermaid) 
  • Mark Dziersk, FIDSA, Managing Director, Lunar Design in Chicago (formerly with BrandImage-Laga/DesGrippes and Herbst LaZar Bell) 


  • Bob Grace, IDSA, President, RC Grace LLC (formerly editorial director and associate publisher of Plastics News

Session 2: Designing the Future: How Materials Can Change the World

This session will address sustainability, green products & processes, and the key role that materials development and usage will have on the environment in the future. Going forward, companies will need to be better than carbon neutral; they will need to be carbon positive. The panel will explore the mindset as well as the technology needed to drive this concept forward.

Sponsored by SABIC

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Kara Johnson, Portfolio Director – Materiality, at IDEO in Palo Alto, CA. A material scientist with a PhD from Cambridge University in the UK, Johnson is also co-author of the respected 2002 book Materials and Design – The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design.
  • Diane Turnwall, Vice President of Materials Innovation, Herman Miller Inc. in Holland, MI. Turnwall has more than 20 years of experience in management, product development, market segmentation and more with leading office-furniture and glass companies.
  • Kiersten Muenchinger, IDSA, Associate Professor and Director of the Product Design Program, and a principal of the Green Product Design Network at the University of Oregon. Muenchinger recently was voted one of the nation’s “30 most admired educators” by DesignIntelligence.
  • David Saltman, Chairman & CEO of San Diego-based Malama Composites Inc., a maker of sustainability-sourced polyurethane composite materials being used in a new type of home-building system.
  • Tobias Schultz, Manager of Environmental Sustainability Services at SCS Global Services in northern California, where he specializes in applying advanced metrics based on life cycle assessment (LCA) to measure the sustainability of a wide variety of materials and production processes.